Jenny Simanowitz Turns Tears to Laughter in “Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?”

Be prepared to laugh along at her one-woman show.

Remaining upbeat in the face of hardship, cruelty and prejudice is a tough act; Jenny Simanowitz, however, does just that in her latest show Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?, not only laughing in the face of life’s inhumanities but composing songs about it.

A Jewish mother herself, the South ­African born Simanowitz uses the communication cabaret format that she developed after working with Keith Johnstone (creator of the improv mainstay Theatresports), combining stand-up, theater, music and audience interaction to communicate a deeply personal story. Exploring both the clichés and realities of Jewish motherhood, she uses self-deprecating humor liberally, her candor her most powerful tool. With ­Viennese sentiments towards Jews still somewhat ambiguous, Simanowitz admits that “writing a piece like this in Austria is still like a kind of ‘coming out’… but I have found that when I brought Jewish humor and anecdotes into my shows, my Austrian audiences loved it!”

Musical accompaniment is handled by her partner in crime, African-American singer Margaret Carter; they join forces for the duet Blacks and Jews, a game of one-upsmanship to see which people has suffered more!

Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?

May 8, 20:00, Café Korb.

Nejra Rizvanović
Bosnia bred, currently residing in Austria, Nejra studies Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna. In her free time, she enjoys good company, learning new languages and eating sushi.

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